History

University of the Rockies // About // History

History

The precursor to University of the Rockies, the Colorado School of Professional Psychology (COSPP), was founded on June 18, 1998, in Colorado Springs. It was established to provide a professional graduate education in psychology to individuals seeking licensure as psychologists or as practitioners in other arenas of the profession. A Board of Directors was established in 1999, and COSPP was granted Preliminary State Authorization by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). The next year COSPP gained Category II Authorization, which allowed COSPP to enroll students, begin instruction, award credits and degrees, and maintain a place of business in Colorado. In 2003, COSPP was granted initial accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) and Category I status by the CCHE.

Some of COSPP’s founding members, practicing psychologists in the Colorado Springs community and educators at Chapman University, provided leadership for establishing the a Switzer community counseling center. The Counseling Center provided supervised practica and internships for COSPP students and special community mental health needs.

In 2004, the institution moved to the ground level of a historic Santa Fe Railroad station constructed circa 1917. In 2005, a Licensed Professional Counselor curriculum, a Marriage and Family Therapy curriculum, and an Organizational Leadership curriculum a number of specializations were added to existing degree programs to broaden the institution’s service prospective.

Bridgepoint Education, Inc. acquired the institution in 2007 and renamed it University of the Rockies. The following year, the University sought permission to offer online courses and began the online delivery of two degrees: the Master of Arts in Psychology and the Doctor of Psychology. Three more programs—the Master of Arts in Organizational Development and Leadership, the Master of Arts in Human Services, and the Doctor in Organizational Development and Leadership—were approved by the HLC in 2010. That same year, the counseling center was renamed the Rockies Counseling Center.

In 2012, HLC extended the University’s accreditation to include the Master of Arts in Education, Doctor of Philosophy in Education, and Doctor of Philosophy in Human Services. The next year, the University opened facilities in downtown Denver, received approval to add the School of Organizational Leadership (in addition to the School of Professional Psychology, and began offering ground classes in Denver. HLC also extended the University’s accreditation to include the Master of Arts in Counseling for the former Master of Arts in Psychology specializations related to counseling.

A third school, the School of Social, Human, and Educational Development, was established in 2014. Following a successful HLC visit, in early 2015, the University was granted continuous accreditation with Reaffirmation of Accreditation set for 2024‒2025. Three master’s programs—the Master of Arts in International Leadership, Master of Arts in Public Sociology, and Master of Arts in Human Development—were also approved by the HLC at that time.

In mid-2015, the University of the Rockies announced the teach-out of its campus in Colorado Springs. In early 2016, the University combined the three schools into one and implemented an Executive Dean model to streamline the student experience and enhance academic quality.


University of the Rockies Milestones

1998

University of the Rockies, established initially as the Colorado School of Professional Psychology (COSPP), was founded to provide a professional graduate education in psychology to individuals seeking licensure as psychologists or as practitioners in other arenas of the profession. 

1999

First Board of Trustees was established. COSPP was granted Preliminary State Authorization by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education (CCHE). 

2000

The Colorado School of Professional Psychology (COSPP) was granted a Category II Authorization by the CCHE, which allowed COSPP to enroll students, begin instruction, award credits and degrees, and maintain a place of business in Colorado. 

2003

The Higher Learning Commission granted initial accreditation to COSPP, and CCHE granted COSPP Category I status. 

2007

Bridgepoint Education, Inc., headquartered in San Diego, California, acquired COSPP, and the University was renamed University of the Rockies. 

2008

HLC granted the University permission to offer online courses, and online delivery of two new non-clinical degrees began. The University's accreditation was also reaffirmed by HLC. 

2010

HLC extended the University’s accreditation to include the Master of Arts in Organizational Development and Leadership, the Master of Arts in Human Services, and the Ph.D. in Organizational Development and Leadership. That same year, the University launched the Journal in Psychological Issues in Organizational Cultures with Wiley & Sons. 

2013

The University opened its doors to a second location in downtown Denver. With HLC approval, the School of Organizational Leadership began offering courses at the new site. Additionally, HLC extended the University’s accreditation to include the Master of Arts in Education, PhD in Education, and PhD in Human Services, as well as the Master of Arts in Counseling for the former Master of Arts in Psychology specializations related to counseling. 

2014

The School of Social, Human, and Educational Development was established.

2015

HLC granted the University continued accreditation with the next Reaffirmation of Accreditation set for 2024‒2025 and extended the University’s accreditation to include the Master of Arts in International Leadership, Master of Arts in Public Sociology, and Master of Arts in Human Development.

2015

A new President/Chief Executive Officer was appointed by University of the Rockies Board of Trustees.

2016

The University combined its three schools into one and implemented an Executive Dean model to streamline the student experience and enhance academic quality.

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